Nestled between panoramic harbour views and the cascading mountains of Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. Christopher’s Hotel is the official hotel of a tourist town known as the “provincial gateway” between Newfoundland and neighbouring provinces. With 83 rooms and suites as well as a wide range of amenities both in the hotel as well as nearby, St. Christopher’s Hotel is the largest hotel in the small town, providing shelter and comfort to travellers and locals alike.
Despite being one of the busier hotels in Port Aux Basque, St. Christopher’s had never invested in any kind of digital marketing or online strategy themselves, and approached Larmahil for advice on how to best manage all of the Hotel’s marketing needs in-house.
Funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the provincial departments responsible for tourism in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the four provincial tourism industry associations have an ongoing partnership to support the tourism industry across Atlantic Canada. As part of this partnership, the group hosts frequent webinars available to share knowledge, resources and training to help and share advice to those operating in the Tourism industry.
As a leader in digital marketing servicing clients Canada-wide, and in being based out of Atlantic Canada, Larmahil continually participates and leads these webinars – which is exactly how the company was introduced to St. Christopher’s Hotel. Management at the Hotel attended numerous webinars hosted by Larmahil, one of which focused on CRM technology, and another on blogging and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Following these webinars, St. Christopher’s proceeded to download several of Larmahil’s e-books on Tourism, Blogging, and Adwords. Seeing their own digital marketing challenges and lack of training or knowledge, St. Christopher’s approached Larmahil for assistance.
Over the course of a several month-long conversation, Larmahil, in partnership with St. Christopher’s, took an in-depth look at the Hotel’s internal processes and initiatives, and identified where the disconnect was. While their social media was being managed in-house, their current website – one of their biggest drivers of traffic and sales – was hosted by Yellow Pages. Additional digital marketing efforts, including graphic design, were controlled by a different outside third-party. This impacted the Hotel’s ability to execute tactics quickly, and also limited the amount of control they had over their own digital marketing.
Recognizing the need to take control of their own website and digital marketing to be competitive in their industry, and with the Hotel seeking a qualified manager to replace a retiring one, an opportunity was presented – for a unified brand, for training to develop an in-house skill set, and for cohesive internal management of all digital marketing efforts, including the introduction of new tactics such as email marketing.
Larmahil worked with St. Christopher’s Hotel to select the best fit CRM for them – the first critical step in everything Larmahil does. In this instance, Larmahil identified that Hubspot would be the ideal platform for the Hotel to manage all of their digital marketing efforts, including blogging and email marketing.
Recognizing that the Hotel had the internal capabilities and talent to manage Hubspot themselves with the right training, Larmahil then spent 8 weeks working with the new manager of St. Christopher’s Hotel on how to manage their CRM.
Now that training is finished, St. Christopher’s Hotel has complete control of all their digital marketing as well as their website through their CRM. Where this previously required a lot of coordination with internal and external sources, managing staff at the Hotel now competently manage everything themselves, allowing the Hotel to strategize and execute whatever they need, whenever they need to, cohesively.
In terms of budget, it is important to note that this project would not have been possible without the support of a Government program called Canada Job Grant which St. Christopher’s applied for through the Federal Government. This program is available to any business that needs to train staff to do something specifically for the business. If approved for the program, the Government pays two thirds of expenses. For likeminded entrepreneurs and small businesses that require additional training for staff but may not have the budget, it’s a worthwhile program to look into. For more information on the program, feel free to contact us here at Larmahil.